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The SJ

The FS

The Archtop



The SJ

The Archtop

The FS

The Jumbo

Guitar Models


Applegate Guitars are available in 3 standard sizes: a SJ, FS and Jumbo. Other than width dimensions, each model is fully customized to suit the player's needs.


5 scale length options are also available: 24.9, 25.5, 26.375, 28.5, and a 24.9-26.375 fanned fret. Any  model can be made as a nylon stringed instrument.


Detailed specifications, options, pricing and ordering information are available on the individual page for each guitar.

The Classical



The ideal way to experience an Applegate Guitar is to play one in person, however I know that many customers do not have the opportunity to play an Applegate before they order. As such, we have compiled a few sound and video clips of other owners playing their Applegate guitars. While these clips cannot provide the experience of "playability", they hopefully provide a sense of the tone, voicing and charcter of various guitar models. Additional video clips are available to view on the Applegate Guitars YouTube channel.

Highland Harbinger - Al Petteway
00:00 / 00:00
The Handing Down - Richard Tordoff
00:00 / 00:00
Here Comes The Sun - Mike Salovich
00:00 / 00:00
Donal Óg/The Lea Rig - Tony McManus
00:00 / 00:00
Free Flight - Richard Tordoff
00:00 / 00:00


Put simply, it is the best sounding acoustic I have ever played. It sounds clear when finger picked and does not distort when pushed hard. I was shocked at how much volume this guitar had. No fret buzz. I tune my guitar a half step down and then put it in a d or dmin tuning and many guitars I have played did not hold the tune well. The Applegate SJ held the tune and I almost never had to tune it. I like everything about Applegate guitars.


Applegate Guitars featured in Fretboard Journal "Stars of the North" aritcle highlighting Olson, Ryan, Hoffman, Keller and Appleagate Guitars.



Great guitar... Well balanced sound with very clear treble and an understated, but articulate bass.  I love the subtle sound of the Cedar Top and the projection is amazing--records great. Guitar has amazing overtones and harmonics. Sustain is forever. Applegate will soon join the pantheon of great American Luthiers...


Applegate Archtop with interchangeable pick-up system named one of "8 Dream Guitars" in Acoustic Guitar Magazine's Custom Guitar Gallery.


MARCH 2013

My Applegate guitar is a work of art. I have loved many guitars in my life--all of them special in some unique way. But none of them ever met the formidable criterion of becoming “the one,” until I played an Applegate guitar. Brian Applegate builds the finest guitars a musician could hope for. My Applegate is perfect in every way. It's beautiful, every exacting detail has been executed with precision and care. And then there is the sound. And it is a gorgeous sound. Both in the clarity and projection of the highs, and in the expansive, balanced richness of the lows. This guitar is the work of a master. I’ve used it for songwriting and recording sessions, live performance, both inside and out, and it has always exceeded my expectations, and inspired my experience. I highly recommend Brian, his process, and Applegate Guitars, you’ll have a friend for life.



Applegate's attention to detail is preponderous...Of course, all (of his) beautiful examples of fine woodworking are heart-stirring, but they pale in comparison to the grand, orchestral, absorbing tone of this guitar. Applegate's maestro techniques have yielded a guitar which, surrounded by unique and irreplacable guitars such as only Dream Guitars has, still manages to stand alone, a truly singular instrument. Bravo, Brian: you've built a masterpiece.



This is all around the best guitar I have ever played... It has the even tone and playability you'd expect from an Applegate, and it's especially good precesence doesn't overpower.... (it) is well-matched to the physical beauty of the instrument. It is a great balance of instricacy and simplicity. Few realize the variety in Applegate's arsenal, but Brian's constant desire to try new things in his craft keep him always instersted and never bored--longing for Monday and dreading the weekend because there is nothing he would rather be doing.





I founded Applegate Guitars in 2001, finding inspiration from my visit to the historic guitar-making district in Granada, Spain, and from my life-long love of wood working and music. Since then, I have been fortunate to do what I love--building fine acoustic guitars, individually and by hand, in my one-person shop. 


My guitars are rooted in traditional, handcrafted designs, materials and construction. Each instrument is unique, thoughtfully created to maximize the beauty and tonal character of the wood. I use only the finest, hand-selected materials and have collected a large range of aged and heirloom tonewoods that I am able to offer my customers.









A strategic use of modern technology has allowed me to insure exact, precision craftsmanship on every guitar, as well as to create some forward-thinking designs, such as highly detailed soundports and an interchangable pick-up system for the Applegate archtop guitar.


I produce every detail of each instrument with a true passion for the craft. Craftsmanship is particularly noticeable in the details--from the comfort of the neck profile to perfectly executed bracing or painstakingly detailed inlay. I hope this is evident in every guitar leaving my shop.

Precision craftsmanship is universally important in each guitar, but the desired sound, visual aesthetic, and set-up is unique to each guitarist. One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is the time spent with customers to understand their preferences and create a personalized instrument that is uniquely suited to their needs.


If you are considering a custom guitar, I encourage you to get in touch, Together, we can determine the ideal woods, model and finishing touches that will be inspirational to you. It is gratifying to know that the "art" I create will be used by you to create yours.


As a part of your custom order, I will send images to help you choose woods or make other selections. You are also welcome to stop by the shop at any time during the building process. For inspiration, you can check out the gallery of some of my previous work as well as my Instagram, Facebook or YouTube sites for examples of Applegate Guitars in process, or of those previously built.

I limit my production to allow the time necessary for uncompromised quality in each guitar. As a result, there is typically a waiting queue before I can begin production of your guitar. I will be able give you an estimate at the time that you place your order. Deatiled order terms are provided here.


In addition to custom orders, Applegate Guitars are available though dealers on a limited basis. Occasionally, I will also have a guitar show model or prototype available for sale on the website.

I am fortunate to be building instruments during this "Golden Age" of lutherie. The luthier community continues to push the boundaries in terms of sonic performance as well as visual artistic expression.

I am grateful to many of the luthiers who have shared their ideas with the guitar-making community, or with me individually. Kevin Ryan, Grit Laskin, Brian Galloup and Jim Olson immediately come to mind. I am particluarly indebted to Jim Olson, who has been a generous mentor and friend. His insights, techniques and exacting standards have been a great inspiration.



Brian Applegate, Luthier

Tel: 952-250-7063 | 

For order inquiries or any other questions, please call or email or email me directly. If you're interested receiving our newsletter and updates with available guitars, please subscribe below.


I look forward to hearing from you!

On a limited basis, Applegate Guitars are also available from these fine dealers:

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